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New Mermaids is a series of over sixty modernised and fully annotated classic plays, with an active program of new editions. New Mermaids are edited and updated by experienced teachers who are internationally recognised as authorities in their field. They are ideal for, and accessible to, actors, theatre-goers and students and are printed in a clear, easy-to-use format, with annotations below the text and a comprehensive introduction.
Written in defiance of Jeremy Collier and the budding fashion for sentimental drama, this late Restoration comedy exposes the reformed rake Loveless to the temptations of London and the charms of a merry widow, neither of which he is able to withstand. More memorable than the straying husband, however, is Restoration comedy's ultimate follower of fashion, Lord Foppington, who defends himself in the Epilogue by observing that no highwayman or Jacobite was ever well dressed.
As the introduction to this edition argues, Sir John Vanbrugh – dramatist, architect and member of the influential Kit Cat Club – presents courtship and marriage not only with cynicism, but also with moral bravery and social impudence; qualities not much in evidence in his sentimental rivals.
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